8 million people are improving their fitness thanks to this What If.
We were just in a meeting this morning and thought that we really needed to share our favorite companies, not because people are looking to us as trend setters, but because the momentum of businesses doing really great things to “shake it up” from the norm while exploring “What If” really is exciting to us, and it’s what we are about as a company. Why we do what we do the way we do it is another post, but today’s blog post features one of Chris Risey’s favorite companies and websites (outside of SI.com), www.SparkPeople.com.
Seven years ago I was introduced to SparkPeople.com through my lifelong friend and godmother of my children, Dr. Mignonne Mary from New Orleans. Mignonne has spent her medical career working in the field of internal medicine and medical weight loss and after the catastrophe that was Katrina (she ended up moving with her husband and children to Jupiter, Florida for a few years after the storm), I hooked her up with a very popular diet doctor in Florida, Dr. Jay Garcia. Florida is a lot like California, you have to be ready for swimsuit season eleven months out of the year, and the pressure to look good is right up there with making sure you are not the last one picked at dodgeball in middle school.
Dr. Garcia was partnering up with Barry Spears of The Zone Diet fame, and Mignonne was a perfect fit to their medical weight loss clinics. She is a low carb, lots of veggies , healthy exercise type of woman. Mignonne is a very beautiful, tall, energetic, “skinny” girl, and whenever we are together, I am always watching what she’s doing, and being from New Orleans, the girl can eat. I won’t go into my opinion that taking a pill can make you skinny in some cases, but it’s not sustainable, and Mignonne believes the same thing, which is why she told me to go to SparkPeople.com, and it would make everything come together. In this conversation, she also told me to go to You Tube and watch “The Secret”, which I did, and is also now a major theme in my life. I’ve even made my oldest child sit and watch it when it’s doom and gloom in his world for a real attitude adjustment. Sure it’s corny, but Oprah loves it too, and between that video of life philosophy and law of attraction and SparkPeople.com, I’m now back into my skinny jeans without the muffin top through understanding my diet and exercise, and then I shared it with Chris Risey.
SparkPeople.com was launched in 2001 as a goal setting site. Chris Downie just knew he wanted to help millions of people, and I am sure after reading his life story, he survived because he knew the secret as well. Soon after they quickly realized that most of their members were interested in nutrition, fitness, and health goals so they quickly became a nutrition and fitness site in 2002. With that they added a premium subscription (fee based) service like a meal planner and fitness tracker and then became a paid subscription site. But in 2006 the Company’s membership and visibility sky rocketed when its founder, decided to explore this What if.
What if we make the website 100% free and still offer ALL of our tools and resources for free. According to their website, the company was able to do this financially because its founder, Chris Downie and his wife were early employees at eBay, and got a healthy supporter in Steve Case, co-founder of AOL. Today, the Company helps over 8 million people (Chris Risey now included!) track and improve their nutrition and fitness. The company has won numerous awards and attracted a variety of advertisers including some very well known consumer brands and Fortune 1000 companies.
But here is where it gets interesting, Spark People has the foundation of the same philosophy that we do, they promote the personal well being “What If”, imagining happiness, inner contentment, and self improvement, but roll it all into a personalized action plan and tool kit for weight loss. Just like I live my life knowing the Secret, and Lantern works with clients to ask and then explore their corporate “What If” (imagining the possibilities and then develops the road map to get them there, and provides access to the tools or resources that the company needs), Spark People inspires individuals to dream of their perfect life, their perfect outer self, and gives them the ability to connect with others, learn from others, and watch themselves transform their way of life.
Spark People’s Magic Formula:
1. Goal Setting
7.World Class Technology
And just incase you haven’t figured out the obvious, SparkPeople.com is one of our favorite things and we highly recommend that you check it out, and btw, there is an app for that!..
Diet and Food Tracker By Spark People App Available on iTunes